As you grow older, you may start to reflect on your legacy. You have a wonderful family, a beautiful house, and many other assets. But have you thought about what happens to your family and your property once you’ve passed away?
Maybe not, and that’s okay. Many people haven’t. However, it’s important to think about life after death to make sure your family is taken care of.
How do you do this? Estate planning is an excellent way to start.
Contact a Garden Oaks/Oak Forest estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm to start developing your estate plan. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, commonly called “GOOF,” is a beautiful district centrally located in Houston, Texas. Known for its vintage homes and scenic, small-town atmosphere, Garden Oaks/Oak Forest is a great place to live.
This district is home to 37,942 Texans, which is no surprise considering how appealing the area is. There are 14,935 households in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, with an average of two people per household. Additionally, the average household income in GOOF is $101,805, while the median household income is $68,200.
So what does all of this information mean? It shows that Garden Oaks/Oak Forest is a thriving community, and its residents all likely have something or someone they want to protect.
If you’re a GOOF resident and you’re interested in creating an estate plan, take the first step by contacting an attorney. An experienced and reliable estate planning attorney from Stafford Law Firm can help you get started.
Estate planning is an ongoing process that sets your family up for success when you’re no longer around. It’s as unique as you are and can include various tools.
Because of that, our team offers comprehensive estate planning services so you can hand-select the tools that make sense for your family.
Here are just a few ways we can help you.
Wills are a great starting point for your estate plans. In your will, you can designate guardians for minor children, select beneficiaries for your assets, and even dictate your wishes for burial arrangements.
Keep in mind, however, that wills do not provide asset protection, which means they’ll need to be used in conjunction with other estate planning tools to cover all the bases.
Trusts are fiduciary arrangements that allow a third party (trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. When you set up a trust, the trust becomes the owner of those assets and the trustee, the manager, until you pass away or become incapacitated.
Creating a trust allows you to protect those assets from probate and have more autonomy over how and when they’re distributed.
Part of estate planning is planning for the unexpected, like if you become badly injured or sick. In situations like these, your loved ones and doctors will need guidance on what healthcare treatments you want, what life-saving measures you would or wouldn’t prefer, and other decisions.
These aren’t decisions you want your family to have to second-guess about. And when you can’t speak for yourself, healthcare directives allow you to outline your wishes beforehand.
Power of attorney documents allows a third party (agent) to act on your behalf in your absence. If you were temporarily disabled, incapacitated, or taking an extended trip, these documents allow that third party to step in and make important legal, financial, or healthcare decisions for you.
Without these documents, the court could decide who should make these decisions and, depending on the circumstances, end up stripping you of your rights altogether.
Probate is the process of rounding up your final affairs in court. This includes collecting, managing, and distributing your estate. It can be costly and time-consuming, dragging your loved ones back and forth to court to determine what should happen with your estate.
With proper planning, it can be avoided. However, when necessary, surviving loved ones can count on an experienced probate attorney to walk them through the probate process.
Planning your estate is an emotional process. We never want to consider what life would be like without us around. But at Stafford Law Firm, our attorneys can help you plan your estate, protect your assets, and give you peace of mind for the unexpected.
Our other legal services include:
Are you ready to take the next step in planning your estate?
Contact a Texas estate planning attorney at Stafford Law Firm to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.
With a comprehensive estate plan, you can feel confident about your future. We all have something we want to protect, so get a head start by creating an estate plan. This way, your family will be protected in case something happens to you.
Have more questions? Don’t know where to start? Contact a Garden Oaks/Oak Forest estate planning lawyer from Stafford Law Firm. We’ll guide you through every step of the estate planning process.
Call us today to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 9601 Katy Fwy Suite 470, Houston, TX 77024.
Probate is the process of carrying out your will and handling your estate once you pass away. An executor fulfills this process, and some of their duties include appraising your property, paying off your debts, and distributing your assets to beneficiaries. Probate can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Thankfully, a probate lawyer can help make it a lot more simple.
An executor of an estate is responsible for carrying out a will during the probate process. You can appoint an executor in your will. If you do not name an executor before you pass away, the state will choose an executor.
If you pass away without a will, the courts will decide what to do with your assets. This is not always the best option since you get no say in what happens to your belongings. For example, something special that you wanted to give to a particular person could be given to someone else.
It’s best practice to create a will with an estate planning attorney so that your assets go to the right people once you’re gone.
While a will and a trust seem like similar estate planning documents, they serve different purposes. Without a will, your assets may not be distributed how you’d like them to be. A trust is a great tool for avoiding probate, so it’s beneficial to have both a will and a trust.
Estate planning is important because you can protect your and your family’s future. Creating an estate plan also allows you to choose guardians for your minor children and decide how you will distribute your assets. Without an estate plan, you don’t get to choose what will happen to your belongings once you pass away. Another part of estate planning is preparing for your end-of-life care, which can be expensive.